The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter
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It has been argued that The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter by Marie-Victoire Lemoine is an homage to fellow artist Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun.

While Lemoine was never her student, this painting can totally still be read as a loving tribute to the artist. If we are to read it this way, then Vigée-Le Brun is the standing figure looking at her work - perhaps a painting of Athena (another badass lady: the goddess of wisdom). Meanwhile, Lemoine pictures herself bowing to copy the work. Some claim that this “can be interpreted as eulogising Vigée-Lebrun as the original ground-breaker, the high priestess of female artists. Pretty cool.

This is known as Lemoine’s “best remembered work” - the one that was first shown at the Salon of 1796, and would lead to her 5 additional Salon showings over the next 20 years. Personally, I appreciate the sisterhood of the whole thing: a woman painting two women, based on another artist she greatly admired, on a stage that was only recently opened to women.

As though there isn’t enough girl-power surrounding this artwork, artist Ann Harris and art historian Linda Nochlin say of this painting: "This unashamedly ambitious tour de force declares Lemoine's ability to work on a large scale, to orchestrate an elaborate composition, to combine portraiture and genre, to provide moral instruction, and even to paint still life." Bottom line? In this painting Lemoine is *flexing*. 

The majestic work now lives at the Met, but before you dash out to pray at the altar of female painters, double check that it’s on view (alas, as I write this, she is resting).




  1. Aurricchio, Laura. “Eighteenth Century Women Painters in France.” Met Museum, October 2004, accessed 25 Nov 2019,
  2. “Lemoine, Marie-victoire.” The Web Gallery of Art, accessed 25 Nov 2019,
  3. “Lemoine, Marie Victoire (1754–1820).”, 20 Oct 2019, accessed 25 Nov 2019, from
  4. “Marie-victoire Lemoine.” Hellenica World, accessed 25 Nov 2019,
  5. “Royalists to Romantics: Spotlight on Marie Victoire Lemoine.” National Museum of Women in the Arts, 8 June 2012, accessed 25 November 2019,
  6. “The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter.” Met Museum, accessed 25 Nov 2019, from

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Here is what Wikipedia says about The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter (Lemoine)

The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter is a 1789 painting by Marie-Victoire Lemoine. It is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The work is a tribute to Louise Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about The Interior of an Atelier of a Woman Painter (Lemoine).